Ukraine Should Cut Loss While It Can – Learn From U.S. Defeat In 20-Year Afghanistan War That Caused Economic Ruin

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Mar 30 2023
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America is very good at getting involved in wars, but is horrible at getting out of them. The military superpower has never failed leaving behind a trail of destruction in every country it involved in wars – Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Laos, Cambodia, Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and the list goes on. The latest war in Ukraine will be no different.


After a year, the Russia-Ukraine war has no end in sight. The conflict could actually end tomorrow, but the United States will not allow it even if Ukrainian president Zelensky wants to. At the same time, Russia will not agree with the unrealistic demands from Zelensky to end the war – gives up all territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea, before a peace deal begins.


So far, Ukraine has been able to defend itself against Russian invasion largely due to the US$30 billion worth of weapons and equipment given by the U.S., not to mention military intelligence and other financial aid. In 2022 alone, the Congress has approved US$113 billion of aid to Ukraine. It cannot continue the war without Western military and economic support.

Ukraine President Zelensky - Comedian

Zelensky, a former comedian and actor who had no experience in politics when elected about 4 years ago, should understand one thing very clearly. He needs to flee the moment the U.S. cut its loss the same way Joe Biden abruptly pulled the plug to end the war in Afghanistan in 2021. He also needs to run if Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.


Despite the Western media’s narrative that Ukraine is winning, the truth is the opposite and Zelensky knew it. If indeed it is winning, exactly why did Zelensky sack Eduard Moskalyov, the commander who had been serving in the military’s Joint Forces Operation since March 2022? And why Ukrainian forces are struggling and risk losing Bakhmut despite massive supplies of weapons?


Crucially, if the West is solidly behind Ukraine, why is Zelensky so worried about Putin parking tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus? U.S. generals estimated around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured. However, Zelensky aide said only 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers perished. If those figures can be trusted, they would not have lied that Russia ran out of ammunition.

Ukraine War - Flag Wrapping Coffin

After spreading fake news and disinformation for a year, CNN finally admits that Ukraine has been burning through ammunition faster than the U.S. and NATO can produce. So, how is it possible that Russia is losing when the Kremlin keeps raining missiles on Ukraine till today, while Ukraine could not push back because it runs out of ammunition and soldiers?


Before Ukraine continues to fantasize that it could win, it should take a step back and look at the facts on the table. Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko admits the country’s economy shrank 30.4% in 2022. Its budget deficit has risen to a record US$38 billion and is expected to remain elevated. Zelenskyy has estimated that rebuilding the country could cost more than US$1 trillion.


Russia, on the other hand, saw its ruble become the world’s best performing currency last year. Its economy contracted by 2.1% last year, shrinking less than the World Bank’s prediction of a contraction of 11.2%. Net exports jumped to 12.8% from 9.3% thanks to prices of exported fuel and energy products. Its account surplus actually hit a record high in 2022.

Russian Currency Ruble

While the Russian government estimated the 2023 economy would decline 0.8%, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) believes the economy could “grow by 0.3%”. The economic war unleashed by Biden administration has boomeranged and hit the Western nations (and the world) instead. Energy prices have skyrocketed in Europe, while Americans have struggled with the decades-high inflation.


More importantly, the U.S. does not have an exit strategy. Sure, the arrogant, incompetent and clueless Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin can blame Putin for the “forever war” in Ukraine. But Zelensky does not need a genius to tell him that based on the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Ukraine needs to cut loss while it still can to avoid a long-term disaster like the Talibans.


The 20-year War in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, which cost the American taxpayers a whopping US$2.3 trillion, was not the first war the U.S. involved in the country. Americans involvement started in 1979 during the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989), which began when the Soviets launched an invasion to support the pro-Soviet government led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan.

Mujahideen Afghanistan - Stinger Missile

But it was a trap set up by the U.S. to lure the now-collapsed Soviet government in a costly war. Washington deliberately armed the Mujahideen fighters to attack and provoke Soviet. It was a proxy war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. To ensure Moscow suffer high military costs, the CIA provided assistance to anti-Soviet forces through the Pakistani intelligence services.


Thanks to America’s funding and Pakistan’s programme to radicalize anti-Soviet Afghan fighters, it bred Jihadists like Osama bin Laden, whose Arab group eventually evolved into Al-Qaeda terror group in the 1980s, and the Taliban in the 1990s. The terrorists trained by the CIA would come back to haunt the U.S. – the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the September 11 attacks.


As a result of 9/11 attacks on American soil, President George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to fight Al-Qaeda and Taliban. After 20 years, the U.S. lost the war and left with tail between legs. But the biggest loser was Afghanistan. Today, the country has one of the most depressed economies in the world as half of its population is facing hunger due to the shortage of supplies of food and money.

Afghanistan People Queue At ATM For Money

As a farewell “gift” to Afghanistan in 2021, the U.S. government seized and frozen the country’s central bank reserves remaining US$9.5 billion. Instead of helping build a strong nation of Afghanistan, the ordinary citizens continued to suffer impoverishment. Only about 12% of U.S. reconstruction assistance given to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2021 actually went to the Afghan government.


Around 90% of Afghanistan’s population live below the poverty line, where most Afghans live on less than US$2 a day. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was worth only US$14.79 billion in 2021. More than a year after the U.S. left, the country’s economy continues to deteriorate as hyperinflation and growing poverty plagued Afghanistan.


The proxy war in Ukraine actually started 9 years ago when Washington provoked and instigated the 2014 popular uprising that saw the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. The U.S. wanted the pro-Russian Yanukovich out of office because he refused to play ball with America’s plan to expand NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia.

On February 6, 2014, as the anti-government protests were intensifying, an anonymous leaked an audio between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. The two U.S. officials were heard discussing which opposition officials to be appointed as the leader of a new government. They agreed to appoint Arseniy Yatsenyuk as their puppet.


Yanukovich insisted that Ukraine must remain “neutral” – an obstacle to the US’ objective for NATO countries to encircle Russia in the Black Sea region. Moscow saw the toppling of Yanukovich as a “coup” orchestrated by Washington. Crucially, the installation of a pro-U.S. government will not merely see the integration of Ukraine into the U.S.-dominated economic sphere.


Western powers also wanted to integrate Ukraine militarily. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. promised the new Russia that it would not expand NATO east of Germany. But America lied, of course. On March 10, 2018, NATO added Ukraine to the list of NATO aspiring members. Russia felt threatened after Yanukovich was overthrown, leading to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014.

Russia Warship In Crimea Black Sea

But why did Putin quickly annex Crimea after the collapse of Yanukovych government? The Crimean peninsula, which was part of Russia until it was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954, is home to one of two Russian naval bases with access to the Black and Mediterranean seas. A Crimea controlled by a U.S.-backed Ukrainian government would be a major threat to Russian naval access.


Russia then deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad in 2016 (upgraded in 2018). The U.S. protested, but Moscow said it can do whatever it wants since NATO also deployed missiles in the region. Pentagon has deployed about 100 nuclear weapons in Europe across six bases in five countries – Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.


Washington argues that its missile deployment in the Eastern Europe is shield designed to counter possible missile attacks by Iran, but Moscow says it is directed against Russia. It was the same tactic used by the U.S. when it deployed anti-missile system – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) – in South Korea against China under the pretext of countering North Korea.

Vladimir Putin - Tactical Nuclear Missiles - Weapons

Before the Ukraine invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward three demands to the U.S. – Ukraine should remain neutral and never to join NATO, Crimea should remain part of Russia, and the Donbas should become autonomous in accord with the Minsk II agreement. Biden, along with his sidekick Nulan, rejected any negotiations hence forcing Putin to invade on Feb 24, 2022.


Two months later (April 2022), Russia and Ukraine could have agreed on a deal to end the war. However, it was sabotaged when former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kyiv in the same month, during which he urged – and warned – Ukrainian President Zelensky to cancel any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin because the West isn’t ready for the war to end.


Last month (March 2023), former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett exposed how his efforts as middleman between Moscow and Kyiv was almost a success with both countries agreeing to make concessions and call for a truce – but the US “blocked” the peace process. Now, China too has proposed its 12-point peace plan to end the Ukraine War, but again – rejected by Washington.

President Joe Biden Visit Ukraine - Military

The West was not interested in peace in Ukraine, as can be seen in the U.S.’ 20-year war in Afghanistan. The basis for peace is clear. Ukraine must be a neutral non-NATO country. Crimea must remain home to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, as it has been since 1783. The territorial dispute and autonomy in Donbas can be negotiated. That will assure Putin that Russia has a buffer zone.


Like it or not, Ukraine will lose some territories. But at least Russian troops would leave and Ukraine’s sovereignty would be guaranteed. It’s better than suffering the same economic ruin in Afghanistan. Zelensky should realize that unlike other wars involving the U.S., the NATO expansion to include Ukraine crosses a Russian red line, and the NATO involvement is seen as an “existential threat” to Russia.


Just think of the extent of retaliation President Kennedy was willing to go during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and you will understand why Putin was not bluffing about using nuclear weapons. Russia will fight to the end, and escalate if necessary, to prevent the U.S. from breaking up the country into pieces. This time, China will intervene if needed, and that’s the harsh geopolitical reality.

Ukraine War - Building Damages - Ruin


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